In order to optimize your mental health, you should incorporate exercise into your weekly routine. Even just 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week could significantly improve your quality of life in a multitude of ways. According to Harvard, being physically active can benefit you by reducing the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, or having a stroke. It also helps by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, reducing insulin resistance, and stimulating “the release of growth factors – chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells”. Due to its effects on the brain, exercise helps to reduce stress while improving memory, thinking skills, mood, and quality of sleep.
I try my best to fit in a workout whenever I can and when I do, I find that the rest of my day is so much better. I feel refreshed, have more energy, and my overall mood is lifted. However, when I am at school, sometimes I find it harder to incorporate exercise into my daily life due to a heavy workload. I’ve always taken 6-7 classes a semester and it can become really overwhelming. When I get too busy and don’t go to the gym, I definitely notice a shift in my mood and energy levels. Therefore, I highly suggest you try to incorporate a workout into your life, if you don’t do so already, because you will find that your quality of life will improve in more ways than one.
When I am home on short breaks and during the summer months, I am lucky enough to have my own at-home workout area, pictured above. It even has a personal TV just for the tread-climber, which goes up to 40 incline! Over a couple of my summer breaks, I had a gym membership at a local gym called The Edge but on days where I’m feeling a bit more lazy, it’s very convenient to have a space to use right there in my basement.
I normally like to do a minimum of 30 minutes on the treadmill to start and then after I do some strength training like lunges, squats, calf raises, bicep curls, chest flies, bench presses, glute bridges, glute kickbacks, crunches, etc.
If you don’t have access to a gym, treadmill or weights, don’t worry! There are many other ways you can still get your exercise in. For instance, you can always go for walks outside, go hiking, or do any other non-equipment cardio workouts. There are so many of them out there on the Internet that can be easily found. HIIT workouts, otherwise known as “high-intensity interval training”, is an extremely effective type of exercise that has numerous benefits. To name a few, it burns lots of calories in just a short amount of time, increases your metabolic rate for hours after you’re done working out, and helps you build a healthier heart.
Click here for some good at-home HIIT workouts you can do. There is even a 30-day program included in this article!
I hope you take my advice and try to exercise as much as you can. I promise you, you will feel so much better both physically and mentally!
∼Taylor ♥ xoxo